A map illustrates rainfall conditions in April across the St. Johns River Water Management District.

From the St. Johns River Water Management District

Even with above-average rainfall in April, abnormally dry conditions continue throughout much of the St. Johns River Water Management District. A full report outlining hydrological conditions was presented at the district’s May Governing Board online teleconference.

While Orange County’s rainfall averaged 2.6″ in April, Apopka’s ranged between 2-4″, with the vast majority of area receiving 3″ for the same month.

Highlights included:

Rainfall

  • April rainfall averaged 4 inches districtwide, which is 1.4 inches above the long-term average for the month.
  • The district’s northern counties were well above average, with Baker County receiving 6.6 inches, Duval County with 5.6 inches and Nassau County with 6.9 inches of rain in April.
  • Seminole, Orange, Flagler and Volusia counties received the least rainfall, reporting between 2.5–3 inches.
  • Districtwide, the cumulative rainfall total over the last 12 months is 46.7 inches, which is 4.3 inches below the long-term average.
  • All counties within the district except Brevard County have a 12-month rainfall deficit.
  • Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties each have a 12-month deficit greater than 10 inches.

Groundwater

  • Upper Floridan aquifer conditions (groundwater levels) at the end of April were in the normal range throughout most of the district.
  • Groundwater levels are at the 49th percentile district-wide, which means that since 1980, about 51 percent of the time aquifer levels have been higher than they are now.

Surface water flows

  • Surface water flow conditions in the St. Johns River’s headwaters were in the very low flow range for this time of year — on May 1, flow at the Melbourne station was largely reversed, at a rate of -45 million gallons per day (mgd).
  • Flow conditions in central Florida were in the low or average range, with the DeLand station reporting 789 mgd on May 1 and 3.3 billion gallons per day (bgd) at the Satsuma station.
  • Flow in the Ocklawaha River was in the low range (473 mgd).
  • At the district’s northern boundary, the St. Marys River flow was in the high range.

Lake levels

  • Lake Brooklyn water levels decreased 0.6 feet and is just below its the long-term average level.
  • Lake Weir decreased 0.1 foot during April.
  • Lake Winnemissett levels decreased 0.3 foot.
  • Lake Apopka’s water level decreased 0.2 foot, consistent with its regulation schedule for April.
  • Blue Cypress Lake levels increased 0.2 foot and remains well below its regulation level for this time of year.

Spring flows

  • The mean monthly flow at Silver Springs decreased to 656 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 424 mgd, in April.
  • Flow in Volusia Blue Spring decreased during April, with a monthly mean of 150 cfs, a decrease of 6 cfs from the March report.
  • Flows at Rock Springs and Wekiwa Springs decreased very slightly, with mean monthly flows of 58 cfs and 64 cfs, respectively.

Simple steps can save water indoors and outdoors

Taking a few simple steps inside and outside can save water and money.

Most of us turn off the water when brushing our teeth, and wait until the dishwasher is full before we run it. But there are lots of other ways to save water at home and in your business.

Finding and fixing leaks is a good place to start. A leaky toilet or faucet can waste thousands of gallons of water each month, putting a hefty dent in your wallet.

Your water fixtures may use more water than you think. Installing low-flow toilets and showerheads can dramatically reduce your indoor water consumption without reduced performance.

Outdoors, lawn and landscape irrigation accounts for about half of all residential water use. Watering wisely outside the home saves water and promotes healthier lawns and landscapes.

Overwatering a lawn can promote weeds and insect pests, as well as weakened grass roots. Broken or misdirected sprinkler heads spray water onto sidewalks and pavement where it evaporates or trickles into storm drains.

You can save water by irrigating lawns and landscapes only when they need it, by properly maintaining your irrigation system and by landscaping with plants and grasses that require minimal water. A well-designed and properly maintained Florida landscape will stay beautiful with minimal care.

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To learn more about rainfall totals and other hydrologic data collected, visit sjrwmd.com.

Visit the district’s Water Less campaign webpage at WaterLessFlorida.com and follow the district on social media to learn ways to conserve water outdoors. #WaterLessFlorida #waterconservation #sjrwmd

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